Finding Help from the IRS
Tax time is nobody’s favorite time of the year. The forms. The receipts. The rules. The new tax laws. The questions. The confusion. The deadline. Where does one turn for help? Why, the IRS, of course! The IRS website provides some excellent resources to help make the best of a complex, and sometimes painful, annual ritual. You just have to know where to look.
Start at the Home Page
Visit irs.gov to find links to forms, publications and online services displayed in a straightforward format that is easy to browse. Tabs across the top of the page provide assistance for specific types of individuals or groups.
Invidiuals will find a wide variety of topics for employees, retirees, military, parents and several others on the IRS website. Each section provides multiple links featuring answers to frequently asked questions, tips & advice, forms and much more. Members of the armed forces will find links to the Armed Forces Tax Guide, info for those serving in combat zones, extension deadlines, and how tax laws affect the military. Seniors will find tips for preparing their taxes, info about social security benefits, a link for tax counseling for the elderly and much more. Parents will find information about the child tax credit, education credits and additional resources.
The IRS supplies a wealth of information just for small business owners and the self-employed on its website. Learn how to determine if someone should be considered a contractor or employee, how to obtain a federal business tax ID and stay up to date on employee tax issues. You can also learn about tax topics through dozens of video and audio presentations through the IRS Video Portal.
Are you working on behalf of a charitable organization? The Charities & Nonprofits tab includes information to assist charities and nonprofits in their tax needs, as well as information for contributors to those organizations. Churches and religious organizations, political groups, private foundations and all types of nonprofits are included in this section. Find compliance information, answers to FAQs and a list of helpful resources.
If you’ve contributed to a nonprofit organization in the last year, get tips for making sure your contributions pay off on your tax return! Not sure if your favorite charity is eligible to receive tax-deductible donations? Search for it online.
Forms & Publications
The IRS has many free publications that explain virtually every major (and many minor) tax topics in great detail. Sure, IRS pubs are not always written in the most entertaining style, but you sure can’t beat the price!
Tax Trails is an interactive tool that can help you find answers to general tax questions on deductions, exclusions, tax credits and other tax topics. As you answer questions about your situation, Tax Trails provides answers or additional questions to direct you to the information you need.
Need some face-to-face tax help? Click here for a complete list of IRS offices in all 50 states, including hours of operation and contact information.
Finally, remember that you can prepare, file and track your return, as well as receive practical tips and advice right from the source: the IRS website. Check it out today — you may be pleasantly surprised!